Bass Drum = Patella Tendonitis

steve.b.

Member
Hi All,

Seems likely i have been struck down with Patella Tendonitis (Jumpers Knee) and am waiting for x rays to confirm.

Question is has anyone else suffered from this problem? would the fact that most of my bass drum practice is on a rubber pad have compounded the condition? and finally is there coming back from this or will i be plagued by this now i have suffered tendon damage?


Regards

Steve
 

brady

Platinum Member
I'm not sure if the bass drum practice pad has much to do with it. The fact that your foot is connected to the pedal should isolate your foot from any major difference in rebound from the pad vs. your bass drum. Any injury-causing difference anyway. I switch back and forth quite a bit myself and I don't have any issues.

I would suspect it's probably more the angle of your leg. If you sit too low--with your knees higher than your hips--it may cause issues, as that's typically too sharp of an angle on your knees.

I had knee issues years ago when I ran a lot and my knees would get sore after playing the drums. Raising the throne a few inches helped quite a bit. It's a much more knee-friendly angle.

If that doesn't help, maybe consult a therapist. Or send a PM to caddwumpus on here. If I remember correctly, he was a therapist. Talking with a therapist that is more familiar with playing drums may help.

Good luck.
 

steve.b.

Member
Thanks for the advice Brady.
I will be seeing a therapist and when back on the stool am going to pull the bass drum round to the right a bit so i dont crank my leg around the snare drum
 

brady

Platinum Member
That's what I do too. It's a much easier angle on the hip as well, and I don't feel so cramped.

You may accomplish the same thing by kicking the hi-hat stand out a little. That may be easier than moving the bass drum... To illustrate, my bass drum is at 12:00 and my hi-hat is around 10:00. I sit a little skewed to one side, facing roughly 11:00.

An added benefit of this is that it's easier for me to hit the rack tom with my left hand in traditional grip, yet I'm not twisted too far around to hit the floor tom.
 

Ian Ballard

Silver Member
Hi All,

Seems likely i have been struck down with Patella Tendonitis (Jumpers Knee) and am waiting for x rays to confirm.

Question is has anyone else suffered from this problem? would the fact that most of my bass drum practice is on a rubber pad have compounded the condition? and finally is there coming back from this or will i be plagued by this now i have suffered tendon damage?


Regards

Steve
I don't know what the doc told you but an x-ray won't really be effective to show soft-tissue issues, just bone problems. MRI?

Secondly, I've had extensive problems with my left leg, including a severe ankle/lower leg injury years ago and a more recent patella break, so I am familiar with having to keep my technique as "least stressful as possible" to my leg. My bass drum technique is a mixture of heel-up and heel-down, in that I do use my leg for power but relax my heel so that the beater ALWAYS comes off the head. I usually play heel-down for jazz things or sessions where time is more important than power and where I have to be absolutely sure I won't get "flutters" from the beater bumping against the head, playing heel-up. Obviously, if the way you're playing now is painful and affects your ability to play confidently and accurately, you'll have to adjust your technique. You may consider some players like JR Robinson who use heel-down exclusively and the man, through years of practice and playing experience, has a POWERFUL heel-down technique. Obviously switching to heel-down will eliminate much of the problems with knee pain. Colin Bailey is an authority on developing heel-down bass drum technique but the only videos he has on the subject are on Drum Channel, which is $5/month. It's worth it though. One major advantage to heel-down is that is allows you to center your time and balance your body better. There is no raising your leg that might cause your time to drag and obviously the knee is put through less stain.
 

brady

Platinum Member
I don't know what the doc told you but an x-ray won't really be effective to show soft-tissue issues, just bone problems. MRI?

Secondly, I've had extensive problems with my left leg, including a severe ankle/lower leg injury years ago and a more recent patella break, so I am familiar with having to keep my technique as "least stressful as possible" to my leg. My bass drum technique is a mixture of heel-up and heel-down, in that I do use my leg for power but relax my heel so that the beater ALWAYS comes off the head. I usually play heel-down for jazz things or sessions where time is more important than power and where I have to be absolutely sure I won't get "flutters" from the beater bumping against the head, playing heel-up. Obviously, if the way you're playing now is painful and affects your ability to play confidently and accurately, you'll have to adjust your technique. You may consider some players like JR Robinson who use heel-down exclusively and the man, through years of practice and playing experience, has a POWERFUL heel-down technique. Obviously switching to heel-down will eliminate much of the problems with knee pain. Colin Bailey is an authority on developing heel-down bass drum technique but the only videos he has on the subject are on Drum Channel, which is $5/month. It's worth it though. One major advantage to heel-down is that is allows you to center your time and balance your body better. There is no raising your leg that might cause your time to drag and obviously the knee is put through less stain.
Actually you can get a DVD from Colin Bailey. Not a bad price either.

http://www.amazon.com/Bass-Drum-Technique-Colin-Bailey/dp/B004HMY6LQ



Matt Ritter has an excellent DVD on foot technique too, called Unburying The Beater.

http://www.mattritterbassdrumtechniques.com/
 

Les Ismore

Platinum Member
Hi All,

Seems likely i have been struck down with Patella Tendonitis (Jumpers Knee) and am waiting for x rays to confirm.

Question is has anyone else suffered from this problem? would the fact that most of my bass drum practice is on a rubber pad have compounded the condition? and finally is there coming back from this or will i be plagued by this now i have suffered tendon damage?


Regards

Steve

I would suggest getting an alignment, then look into investing in a CARMICHAEL drum throne.

There's no way one can play a drum set in the seated position and not have alignment issues and/or limb issues, its the nature of the instrument. If you don't have issues yet, they're on the way, it may take longer for some, but it will happen.
 

Ian Ballard

Silver Member
We also have to keep in mind, that none of us here (I assume) are qualified medical professionals or physical therapists so really all we can suggest is being careful, taking things slow and easy and not working to or beyond a painful point.
 

Brian

Gold Member
We also have to keep in mind, that none of us here (I assume) are qualified medical professionals or physical therapists so really all we can suggest is being careful, taking things slow and easy and not working to or beyond a painful point.
True.

I have patella femoral syndrome and I'm not sure if the knee pain, damage, etc. is similar. Basically, my left knee tissue between the two bones is worn down excessively, due to a work injury/knee dislocation that happened years ago.

My knee was okay except either climbing stairs, or sitting for long periods. Drumming actually wasn't too bad, though I can't say it never hurt..and I did try to use more of a foot-technique, than leg technique over time.

What helped tremendously was exercising every day and doing the physical therapy. My knee is much better off when strengthening the muscles surrounding the knee, to avoid pressure in the joint area. At least that is my non-doctor analysis. Not sure exactly how much exercise helps the best, but I use an exercise bike (exclusively for legs/core) and go 5-10 miles per day for 15-30 minutes.
 
Top